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Thursday, November 9, 2006

On November 7, 2006, the American electorate took out its frustration and anger on the Republican Party and turned over control of Congress, not to mention governors’ mansions and majorities in several state legislatures, to the Democrats. Importantly, however, on a day that saw voters expressing dissatisfaction over conduct of the war, over political corruption and over competency to govern, Americans cast their votes for record numbers of pro-gun candidates, both Democrat and Republican.

Many of the newly elected office holders pledged their support of the Second Amendment while on the campaign trail. They got elected when voters took them at their word. Those same voters, which certainly include first and foremost NRA members, will be closely watching them to make sure they walk the walk as well as talk the talk. NRA will make sure opportunities for tests of true intentions are not long in coming.

Change in Washington, D.C., will be very real. Extreme opponents of our Right to Keep and Bear Arms have been elevated to seats of power, especially in the House of Representatives, where Nancy Pelosi will become Speaker and John Conyers is set to take over the powerful Judiciary Committee. Anti-gunners will also assume the chairs of important sub-committees. The power shift is balanced in part by the fact that Second Amendment champion, and former NRA Board Member John Dingell, the longest serving member in the House, is set to regain the reins of the Energy and Commerce Committee and will be a powerful voice for gun owners rights among his colleagues. Pro-gun Democrats will also chair some very relevant committees and sub-committees.

There will be battles ahead, and, with the 2008 elections on the ever-nearing horizon, NRA members and their fellow gun owners must remain ever vigilant. We must let our representatives, both Democrat and Republican, know one thing: we expect our Second Amendment rights to be respected.

Again, thank you for all you have done this election year, and all you will continue to do in the future.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.